We’ve had our new Nissan Leaf for a week now, our new ecar home charge point has been installed and we’re ready to covert to the EV revolution.
This year 371 electric cars have been sold in Ireland, a figure down almost 20 per cent on the year despite an increasing choice available to buyers. But of those that are bought it is the Nissan Leaf that accounts for the bulk of those sales. And its easy to see why, on paper, it’s perfect. Fun and funky it promises to cost virtually nothing to run, plus the Leaf is a proper car, with room for the kids in the back and shopping in the generously sized boot.
So the idea of an electric car can be pretty appealing particularly for those who have a short commute, access to public transport or a second car. But I live 5kms from the nearest town and have a totally unpredictable schedule so can I successfully adapt to the plug-in lifestyle?
Instantly living with a Leaf adds a new dimension to my evening – plugging in my Leaf once I get home for the day. It takes over night to charge but it very quickly becomes as much a part of your routine as charging your mobile nightly.
The first morning of the school run we buckle up and set off but instantly we discover switching the heating has an unfortunate side-effect immediately the range indicator plummets from 166 to 143 kms – I decide a burst of cold air is good for us but am quickly overruled by my seven and eight year old.
Over the next few days I also figure out more about the Leaf’s range, it can be up to 250 kms but you’ll do that only if you drive it as if you’re balancing a bowl of water on the dashboard. Gently and smoothly. 120 is probably more realistic.
The good news is you’re kept updated about your economy, the remaining charge in the car, and where the nearest charging points can be found.
The Leaf is fun to drive – it’s fast to accelerate, will do up 145km/h and can overtake with ease
So the challenge for week two. I promise to slow down and try a lighter touch – and drive it like it’s actually intended.
Nissan Leaf SVE (30KWH)
Engine: 80kW(@3008-10000, 254@0-3008
Max speed: 145km/h
0-100 kph: 11.5 seconds
Emissions : 0g/km
Model price range: €21,490 (Test Car €26,390)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Electric
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 0 L/100km
Boot Capacity Seats up: 355 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Length: 4445 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Height: 1550 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
22nd October, 2016